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Search Tags: House Veterans Affairs Committee
The Veterans Affairs Department says its claims backlog is far below its peak of three years ago. VA credits its progress to several changes under the Veterans Benefits Management System or VBMS. Federal News Radio's Executive Editor Jason Miller joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive and described how VA is reducing the claims backlog. Read Jason's related article.
Allison Hickey, VA's undersecretary for benefits, said VBMS has transformed the agency from a paper system to one that mostly relies on electronic data. Some lawmakers express concern about the way the agency is measuring how it reduces the number of veterans waiting for benefits.
Tags: technology , management , Veterans Affairs Department , Allison Hickey , Richard Burr , Mike Michaud , Senate Veterans Affairs Committee , VBMS , claims backlog , ACT-IAC , Management of Change , Jason Miller
The organization says a series of whistleblowers and investigative reports show a "pattern of bureaucratic incompetence and failed leadership" among VA senior leaders. This is the first time in more than 30 years the American Legion has called for the removal of a public official.
The House passed the GI Tuition Fairness Act of 2013 on Wednesday that includes an amendment to stop all bonuses for senior executives at the VA for five years. The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee says it will instill some much-needed accountability to the department.
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) introduced the Veterans Information Security Improvement Act that would explicitly require VA to take steps to repair operational and procedure holes in its network and computer security processes.
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) is the author of new legislation that would make it easier for the Veterans Affairs Department to fire its senior executives. Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, says the agency is too shy about cutting loose middle managers who are performing poorly.
The VA Management Accountability Act would give VA Secretary Eric Shinseki broad authority to remove Senior Executives Service (SES) members "if the secretary determines the performance of the individual warrants such removal," according to the bill. In addition to outright removal, the bill would allow the VA secretary to bump SES members down to the General Schedule at any grade level the secretary deems appropriate according to the bill.
DoD opens its electronic medical records to VA claims processors for the first time. The goal is to shave days or weeks from the time it takes VA to decide disability claims for recently separated service members. But the launch of the system has had a few bugs.
Tags: technology , health IT , information sharing , VA , Defense Health Agency , Dave Bowen , AFGE , Richard Thomas , Gerald Manar , Veterans of Foreign Wars , Eric Jenkins , Lorraine Landfried , Jared Serbu
In a message to senior executives, Secretary Eric Shinseki said that Stephen Warren now will hold the title of executive in charge, Office of Information and Technology and chief information officer. The title change comes as the House Veterans Affairs Committee is turning up on the heat once again on the agency's ability to secure its systems and protect data.
Documents obtained by Federal News Radio show VA's financial audit found material weaknesses, including the failure to remove terminated employees from accessing the network, and the lack of a formal process for monitoring, preventing installation and removing unauthorized application software on agency systems. House Veterans Affairs lawmakers continue to press VA to make changes to their cybersecurity posture more quickly. VA officials say they have a multi-layered defense to include outside network monitoring by external partners, active scanning of Web applications and source code, and protection of servers, workstations, network and gateways, among other security efforts.